Skipjack tunas, also called Arctic bonito, are not actually found in the Arctic. These fish live in the waters of Atlantic Ocean in the northeastern U.S. They can be caught using various fishing methods, including trolling, bait casting, chumming, drift fishing, fly fishing, night fishing, saltwater jigging, and spin casting
How to identify Skipjack Tuna
A skipjack tuna can be distinguished from other tuna by the striped markings on its abdomen and lack of markings on its back. Their bellies and bottom flanks are silver with horizontal striped markings. These stripes don’t go above the lateral line. A few other species will have stripe markings on their bellies and backs. The back markings continue to be just as vivid in dead fish as they are in those that are alive.
Where to catch Skipjack Tuna
Skipjacks are quite friendly with fellow species. They are found in warm climates in the deep Atlantic waters of the northern U.S., such as Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and as far south as Argentina. Although they are a species of the deep, they will school together with blackfins and yellowfins. Skipjacks are often mistakenly called Arctic bonito, which is incorrect because they aren’t found in Arctic waters, nor are they a bonito.
The following are habitats where you can catch Skipjack Tuna:
How to catch Skipjack Tuna
While not as popular as other tuna, skipjack are one of the fastest for their size. The most effective fishing technique for catching skipjack tuna is trolling using feathers or swimming ballyhoo. Anglers can also try bait casting, chumming, drift fishing, fly fishing, night fishing, saltwater jigging, and spin casting. Peak fishing season for these fish runs from May through August. They are agile swimmers that tend to swim in schools. Skipjacks feed just below the surface and are almost always looking for food. Effective fishing methods include trolling with strip or whole bait or lures, offshore casting, or jigging with live bait.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Skipjack Tuna:
- Bait Casting
- Drift Fishing
- Fly Fishing
- Night Fishing
- Saltwater Jigging
- Saltwater Trolling
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Skipjack Tuna
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Skipjack Tuna: